What practices are teachers using in the classroom?

  • Among the range of instructional practices, TALIS asks teachers about, those aimed at clarity of instruction are widely applied in South Africa, as well as across the OECD countries and economies participating in TALIS. For instance, 87% of teachers report frequently explaining how new and old topics are related (OECD average 84%). Yet, classroom management practices are more common in South Africa, with 84% of teachers reporting frequently calming students who are disruptive (OECD average 65%).
  • Practices involving student cognitive activation, which are known to be important for student learning, are less widespread, with about half of teachers using these methods across the OECD. Specifically, in South Africa, 54% of teachers report frequently asking students to decide on their own procedures for solving complex tasks, compared to 45% on average across the OECD.
  • During a typical lesson, teachers spend 66% of classroom time on actual teaching and learning, on average in South Africa, which is lower than the OECD average of 78%. Actual teaching and learning time is lower in schools with high concentrations of students from socio-economically disadvantaged homes compared to schools with low concentrations. In South Africa, the difference amounts to 6 percentage points the equivalent of more than 3 minutes of actual teaching and learning per 60-minute hour.
  • In South Africa, 86% of teachers routinely assess their students’ progress by observing them and providing immediate feedback (OECD average 79%), at the same time 83% of teachers report administering their own assessments to their students (OECD average 77%) and 52% of teachers frequently let students evaluate their own progress (OECD average 41%).
  • Overall, a vast majority of teachers and school leaders view their colleagues as open to change and their schools as places that have the capacity to adopt innovative practices. In South Africa, 76% of teachers also report that they and their colleagues support each other in implementing new ideas. This is not significantly different from the average share across the OECD countries and economies participating in TALIS (78%).

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